Chase offers a wide range of travel credit cards, catering to both seasoned travelers seeking premium travel perks and those just starting out who prefer to avoid high annual fees. The Chase Ultimate Rewards® program provides highly flexible redemption options and access to top-tier transfer partners. Furthermore, Chase currently features some of the industry’s best sign-up bonuses, making it easy to accumulate a substantial balance of Ultimate Rewards points quickly.

Selecting the ideal Chase travel credit card largely depends on your spending habits, travel frequency and preferred travel companies. For example, those who frequent airports may want to consider the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, Chase’s premier travel card, which includes unlimited complimentary access to Priority Pass™ airport lounges and Chase airport lounges.

Conversely, if you don’t travel enough to justify the $550 annual fee for the Sapphire Reserve® card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card may be a more suitable choice, offering many of the same excellent features at a lower cost.

Chase also provides several business credit cards that can earn Chase Ultimate Rewards® points either directly or indirectly, which we’ll explain later. If you’re a small business owner, consider signing up for one of these cards and earning Chase Ultimate Rewards® points for your business expenses. Freelancers, sole proprietors, gig economy workers and e-commerce vendors should also be eligible for a business credit card.

Let’s take a look at the various cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points, the many ways to redeem these points and the redemption methods that offer the highest value per point.

chase ultimate rewards

Chase Ultimate Rewards Program Overview

Chase offers an array of credit cards (both personal and business cards) that earn Ultimate Rewards points, with annual fees ranging from $0 to $550. Naturally, higher annual fees correspond to increased spending bonuses and improved benefits on your card.

An effective way to accumulate Ultimate Rewards points is by earning sign-up bonuses, which generally require you to spend a specific amount within a set period after opening a new card. Chase is renowned for providing some of the most attractive sign-up bonuses among credit card issuers.

There are numerous methods for redeeming Chase Ultimate Rewards points, including applying them as a statement credit toward your balance, purchasing gift cards, making purchases through Apple or shopping on Amazon.

However, the most rewarding ways to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points typically involve spending them on travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal or transferring them to one of Chase’s 14 transfer partners. All of Chase’s transfer partners offer a 1:1 transfer ratio.

Here is a comprehensive list of Chase’s transfer partners:

Aer Lingus AerClubJetBlue TrueBlue
Air France-KLM Flying BlueMarriott Bonvoy
Air Canada AeroplanSingapore Airlines KrisFlyer
British Airways Executive ClubSouthwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
Emirates SkywardsUnited MileagePlus
Iberia PlusVirgin Atlantic Flying Club
IHG One RewardsWorld of Hyatt

Among these transfer partners, some provide higher-value redemptions on average than others. Therefore, it’s worthwhile to research where you can maximize the value of your Ultimate Rewards points. With savvy planning, it’s possible to find redemptions through these transfer partners that offer significantly more than 1 cent per point in value.

Card-To-Card Points Transfers

It’s crucial to understand that Chase Ultimate Rewards points earned on different cards can be pooled into a single account and redeemed together. Keep in mind that Chase’s cash back-earning cards technically earn rewards in the form of Chase Ultimate Rewards points. However, if you hold only a Chase cash back card, you won’t have access to Chase transfer partners.

On the other hand, if you possess the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® or the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card in addition to your cashback card, any Ultimate Rewards points earned with your cashback card can be pooled in the same account and transferred to one of Chase’s transfer partners.

Furthermore, the Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers a 50% value boost when redeeming points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, while the Sapphire Preferred and the Ink Business Preferred cards provide a 25% value boost. If you have one of these three cards, any Ultimate Rewards points earned with cashback cards can also benefit from these value boosts.

chase ultimate rewards dining

How to Earn Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

The primary way to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points is to sign up for a Chase credit card. As previously mentioned, all Chase cards earn rewards in the form of Chase Ultimate Rewards points. However, the only Chase cards that have access to the full list of transfer partners are the Sapphire Preferred Card, the Sapphire Reserve Card and the Ink Business card.

If you have one of the Sapphire cards or the Ink Business card, any Ultimate Rewards points earned with a cashback card can be pooled and transferred to a partner program.

Chase Ultimate Rewards points don’t expire as long as you keep your card open. If you cancel your card, you’ll lose any unredeemed points.

To determine the best Chase card strategy for your wallet, let’s examine the differences between each of the cards that Chase offers.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of the most popular travel credit cards on the market for good reason. This card offers excellent benefits and spending bonuses for an affordable annual fee of $95.

You’ll earn points at the following rates:

  • 5X points on all travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
  • 3X points on dining (including eligible delivery services and takeout)
  • 3X points on select streaming services
  • 3X points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs)
  • 2X points on other travel purchases not made through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 1X point on everything else

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers a 25% value bonus when redeeming your points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. You’ll also have the option to transfer your points to Chase’s full list of transfer partners with this card.

Every account anniversary, you’ll earn bonus points equal to 10% off your total purchases made the previous year. For example, if you spent $30,000 in the previous year, you’ll receive 3,000 bonus points on your account anniversary. In addition to that, the Sapphire Preferred card also offers a fantastic welcome bonus that can help you accumulate points quickly.

The Sapphire Preferred Card offers 5X points on Lyft rides through March 31, 2025; a six-month complimentary Instacart+ membership and $15 in statement credits toward Instacart per quarter through July 2024; a complimentary DoorDash DashPass membership through December 2024; and a $10 monthly statement credit toward GoPuff through December 2023. These partner benefits alone can offset this card’s annual fee if you use them to the fullest.

Lastly, this card includes other features like trip cancellation/interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, trip delay reimbursement, purchase protection, extended warranty protection and no foreign transaction fees.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card is Chase’s premium travel card with an annual fee of $550. Although it’s far more expensive than any other Chase card, it comes with premium perks and spending bonuses that can quickly offset the annual fee if you take advantage of them.

The points accumulate at the following rates:

  • 10X points on hotels rental cars purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
  • 10X points on Chase Dining purchases
  • 5X points on flights purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
  • 3X points on other travel purchases not made through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3X points on dining (including eligible delivery services and takeout)
  • 1X points on everything else

The Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers a 50% value bonus when redeeming your points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Additionally, you have the option to transfer your points to Chase’s full list of transfer partners.

As a cardmember, you’ll receive $300 in statement credits toward travel purchases every year and a reimbursement of up to $100 for the application fee for either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry (once every four years).

One of the standout features of the Chase Sapphire Reserve is unlimited complimentary access to Chase Sapphire airport lounges and a complimentary membership to Priority Pass Select. This membership grants you unlimited free access to every lounge in the Priority Pass network, as well as perks at non-lounge locations, such as restaurants, spas, gaming clubs and more.

This card also provides limited-time partner benefits, including 5X points on Lyft rides through March 31, 2025; a six-month complimentary Instacart+ membership and $15 in statement credits toward Instacart per quarter through July 2024; a complimentary DoorDash DashPass membership through December 2024; and a $10 monthly statement credit toward GoPuff through December 2023. These partner benefits alone can offset the card’s annual fee if you fully utilize them.

Furthermore, the Sapphire Reserve offers trip cancellation/interruption insurance, baggage delay insurance, trip delay reimbursement, purchase protection, extended warranty protection and no foreign transaction fees.

Chase Freedom Flex℠

With the no-annual-fee Chase Freedom Flex℠ card, you can earn substantial cash back (in the form of Ultimate Rewards points) by paying attention to rotating bonus categories. If you also hold the Sapphire Preferred, the Sapphire Reserve or Ink Business Preferred, you can boost the value of these points and access Chase’s full list of transfer partners.

The Chase Freedom Flex credit card offers the following spending bonuses:

  • 5% cash back on rotating categories (on up to $1,500 spent per quarter)
  • 5% cash back on all travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
  • 3% cash back on dining (including takeout and eligible delivery services)
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases
  • 1% cash back on everything else

Chase typically posts the 5% rotating categories for the Freedom Flex card for the entire year on their website. For example, in Q1 2023, the card offered 5% cash back at grocery stores, Target and fitness clubs and gym memberships. In Q2 2023, it offered 5% cash back on purchases at Amazon.com and Lowe’s.

Additionally, this card offers limited-time partner benefits, such as a complimentary three-month subscription to DoorDash DashPass through December 2024, 5% cash back on Lyft rides through March 2025, and a complimentary three-month subscription to Instacart+ along with $10 in quarterly statement credits for Instacart orders through July 2024.

Lastly, the Freedom Flex card provides up to $800 per claim in cell phone protection, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, purchase protection, extended warranty protection and secondary auto rental collision damage waiver.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

The no-annual-fee Chase Freedom Unlimited® card closely resembles the Chase Freedom Flex card. However, instead of offering 5% cash back in a rotating category, the Freedom Unlimited card provides a slightly higher base earnings rate of 1.5% cash back on all purchases (compared to the Freedom Flex’s 1% cash back).

The Freedom Unlimited card offers the following spending bonuses:

  • 5% cash back on all travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
  • 3% cash back on dining (including takeout and eligible delivery services)
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases
  • 1.5% cash back on everything else

All cash back earned with this card is in the form of Ultimate Rewards points. If you also hold the Sapphire Preferred, the Sapphire Reserve or the Ink Business Preferred card, all points earned with the Freedom Unlimited card can benefit from the 25% or 50% value bonus through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and be transferred to transfer partners.

The Freedom Unlimited credit card also features limited-time partner benefits, such as a complimentary three-month subscription to DoorDash DashPass through December 2024, 5% cash back on Lyft rides through March 2025 and a complimentary three-month subscription to Instacart+ along with $10 in quarterly statement credits for Instacart orders through July 2024.

Lastly, this card offers trip cancellation/interruption insurance, purchase protection, extended warranty protection, auto rental collision damage waiver.

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Among all the business credit cards offered by Chase, the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is the only one providing direct access to Chase’s list of transfer partners. For a modest annual fee of $95, this card offers impressive spending bonuses.

Here’s a breakdown of the spending bonuses provided by the Ink Business Preferred card:

  • 3X points on up to $150,000 in spending per calendar year in the following categories
    • Shipping purchases
    • Advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines
    • Internet, cable and phone services
    • Travel purchases
  • 1X points on all other purchases

Similar to the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, the Ink Business Preferred card also receives a 25% value bonus on points spent through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. If you have another card that earns cash back in the form of Ultimate Rewards points, those points will also benefit from the 25% value bonus and can be transferred to Chase’s transfer partners.

The Ink Business Preferred card offers a valuable welcome bonus for new cardmembers. Furthermore, this card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, provides cell phone protection up to $1,000 per claim and includes purchase protection, auto rental collision damage waiver and trip cancellation/interruption insurance.

In terms of business-related benefits, the Ink Business Preferred card allows you to issue employee cards at no additional cost and set individual spending limits for each employee card.

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card earns cash back in the form of Ultimate Rewards points. For a no-annual-fee card, the Ink Business Cash card provides impressive spending bonuses.

Here’s how much cash back you’ll earn with the Ink Business Cash card:

  • 5% on up to $25,000 in spending per calendar year at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services
  • 2% on up to $25,000 in spending per calendar year at gas stations and restaurants
  • 1% on all other purchases

Unlike the Ink Business Preferred card, the Ink Business Cash card doesn’t receive a value boost for points redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and doesn’t have access to Chase’s list of transfer partners.

However, if you couple this card with the Sapphire Preferred, the Sapphire Reserve or the Ink Business Preferred, the points earned with the Ink Business Cash card will be eligible for the value boost through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and can be transferred to Chase’s transfer partners.

The Ink Business Cash card doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees and comes with extended warranty protection, auto rental collision damage waiver, purchase protection and roadside dispatch.

If you have employees for your business, the Ink Business Cash card allows you to issue employee cards at no additional cost and set spending limits for each employee card individually.

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

If you prefer not to keep track of bonus categories and want a card that offers a consistent rewards rate for all spending, you may want to consider the $0 fee Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card.

Similar to the Ink Business Cash card, this card earns cash back in the form of Chase Ultimate Rewards points. However, points earned with the Ink Business Unlimited card can be pooled with a Sapphire Preferred, the Sapphire Reserve or the Ink Business Preferred account to gain access to Chase’s transfer partners and receive value boosts through the Ultimate Rewards portal.

The spending bonuses offered by the Ink Business Unlimited card include:

  • 1.5% cash back on all purchases

The Ink Business Unlimited card offers extended warranty protection, auto rental collision damage waiver, purchase protection and roadside dispatch.

Additionally, you can add employee cards to your Ink Business Unlimited account at no additional cost and set spending limits for each card individually.

Shop Through Chase

If you have one of the aforementioned Ultimate Rewards-earning cards from Chase, you can earn even more points by using the “Shop through Chase” feature. This is Chase’s online shopping portal, offering deals from more than 450 participating merchants. By making purchases with Shop through Chase, you can earn between 1X and 15X points, which will be deposited into your Chase account.

If you frequently shop online and have a Chase rewards card, you might as well use Shop through Chase and accumulate additional Ultimate Rewards points in the process.

Refer-A-Friend

Another crafty way to earn some extra Chase Ultimate Rewards points is to take advantage of their Refer-A-Friend program, which rewards you if someone you know signs up for a Chase credit card using your referral link.

To get started, you’ll need to visit the Chase Refer-A-Friend site and enter your last name, ZIP code and the last four digits of your Chase card number. You’ll then be taken to a page where you can see the different referral bonuses for each eligible Chase card.

When you click the “Refer friends now” button under each offer, you’ll be given the option to send your referral link via email, Facebook, Twitter or the Chase mobile app. If your friend signs up for the card using your link, you’ll receive a bonus of Chase ultimate Rewards points.

It’s also worth noting that this option is available with co-branded cards issued by Chase as well. For instance, you can earn a bonus of Southwest Rapid Rewards miles for referring a friend to one of the Chase-issued Southwest credit cards.

chase ultimate rewards travel

How Much Are Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Worth?

All redemption methods through Chase have a fixed value. In most cases, Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth 1 cent apiece when redeemed through Chase. However, if you have the Ink Business Preferred card or the Sapphire Preferred Card, the points are worth 1.25 cents apiece when redeemed for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. If you hold the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, the points are worth 1.5 cents apiece when redeemed for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.

The only time the value of your Ultimate Rewards points isn’t fixed is when you transfer them to one of Chase’s transfer partners. By doing so, you can find redemptions that offer outsized value far exceeding 1 cent per point. So, if you’re willing to do a little research, taking advantage of Chase’s transfer partners is definitely the best way to maximize the value of your points.

How to Redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

No matter what kind of Chase card you have, you can redeem Ultimate Rewards points by logging into your Chase account and clicking the “Redeem rewards” box on the right sidebar of the homepage. Then, if you have multiple Chase cards, you’ll be asked which card’s points you’d like to redeem.

As previously mentioned, transferring points from a cashback card to either the Sapphire Preferred, the Sapphire Reserve or the Ink Business Preferred will grant you access to Chase’s transfer partners and the value bonus when redeeming for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.

To combine your points, simply log in to the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, expand the Earn/Use menu and select the “Combine Points” option. Then, choose the card you want to transfer from and the card you want to transfer to. Finally, decide how many points you want to transfer (you should usually transfer all of the points you have available) and click the “Confirm & Submit” button.

In the following sections, we will cover all the ways you can redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards points and discuss the best strategies to get the most value out of your points.

Statement Credits or Cash Back

Chase gives cardholders the option to redeem their Ultimate Rewards points for statement credits toward their credit card balance or for cash back (which can be received in the form of a check or a direct deposit). When redeeming your points in these ways, your Ultimate Rewards points will always be worth 1 cent apiece. For instance, if you redeem 100 points, you’ll receive a statement credit, check or direct deposit of $1. There’s also no minimum redemption amount.

If you have a Chase cashback card only and you don’t have a Sapphire card or the Ink Business Preferred card, then the maximum redemption value you can get out of your points is 1 cent apiece.

Gift Cards

You also can redeem your Ultimate Rewards points for gift cards from certain merchants. However, doing so often doesn’t make a lot of sense because you’ll get 1 cent per point in value redeeming this way. Instead of redeeming points for a gift card that can be used with only one merchant, it’s better to redeem for cash back and then spend that cash wherever you want.

However, occasionally, Chase will offer these gift cards at a slightly discounted rate. For instance, a $25 gift card might only cost 2,250 points, yielding a value of 1.1 cents per point. In these cases, it may be worth redeeming for a gift card if you’re certain that you’re going to make a purchase with that merchant. However, you’re usually better off just redeeming for cash back.

Amazon Purchases

Chase gives you the option to use your Ultimate Rewards points directly through Amazon.com with the Shop With Points program. However, you should never do this as your points are worth just 0.8 cent apiece this way. This is the lowest value of any redemption method that Chase offers.

You’d be better off redeeming your points for cash back at a rate of 1 cent per point and then using that cash to pay for Amazon.com purchases.

Redeem Through PayPal

You can use your Ultimate Rewards points to make purchases through PayPal. However, this redemption method also yields a value of only 0.8 cent per point. So, in general, it’s not a good idea to redeem your points this way.

Apple Purchases

You can redeem your Chase Ultimate Rewards points for purchases directly through Apple at a rate of 1 cent per point. If you want to buy a product from Apple and you have some points in your account, then this is a decent way to use them.

But, once again, you could always just redeem your points for cash back and then have the flexibility to spend that cash on anything you want (including Apple products).

Redeem for Travel Through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal

No matter which Chase card you have, you can redeem your points for travel (including hotels, rental cars, flights, vacation rentals and activities) through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. To do so, you can simply log in to the Ultimate Rewards portal and then search for travel. Once you find a travel redemption that you want to purchase, you can choose which card you want to redeem points from.

If you have the Sapphire Preferred card or the Ink Business Preferred card, your points will receive a 25% value boost when redeemed for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, meaning that they’ll be worth 1.25 cents apiece.

If you have the Sapphire Reserve card, your points will receive a 50% value boost and be worth 1.5 cents apiece when redeemed this way. If you don’t have any of the three aforementioned cards, then your points will be worth 1 cent apiece when redeemed through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.

Chase Dining

It’s possible to redeem your points for takeout, exclusive reservations and culinary experiences through Chase Dining. And, just like redeeming points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal for travel, Sapphire Reserve cardholders receive a 50% boost in the value of their points through Chase Dining, and Ink Business Preferred and Sapphire Preferred cardholders receive a 25% value boost through Chase Dining.

To redeem your points for Chase Dining experiences, simply log in to the Ultimate Rewards portal and select the “Dining” option from the “Earn/Use” drop-down menu at the top of the homepage. From there, you can enter your location and find participating businesses near you.

If you’re a gourmand and you have the Ink Business Preferred or one of the Sapphire cards, then redeeming your Ultimate Rewards points through the Chase Dining portal is a solid option.

Redeeming Through Transfer Partners

In general, the best way to maximize the value of your Ultimate Rewards points is to transfer them to one of Chase’s 14 transfer partners, all of which allow you to convert your points at a 1:1 ratio.

As previously mentioned, the only Chase cards that allow you to transfer points to partner loyalty programs are the Sapphire Preferred card, the Sapphire Reserve card and the Ink Business Preferred card. However, if you have a cashback card from Chase in addition to one of the three cards just mentioned, you can combine any points that you earn with the cashback card with your Sapphire or the Ink Business Preferred card and then transfer those points to partner programs.

To transfer your points, you’ll need to log in to the Ultimate Rewards portal and select the “Transfer to Travel Partners” option from the “Earn/Use” drop-down menu at the top of the homepage. You can then select which transfer partner you want to move your points to. You’ll then be asked to enter your rewards account number with that partner program and how many points you wish to transfer.

Note that you must transfer at least 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points. Then, confirm the transfer and the points should show up in your partner account within a few days (and, in some cases, just a few hours).

However, not all of Chase’s transfer partners offer the same value. Certain programs make it much easier to find high-value redemptions than others. So, we’re going to briefly run through which of these programs offer the most value and which ones you should probably avoid.

Poor Transfer Options

In general, we recommend against transferring your points to IHG One Rewards, as IHG One Rewards points have a much lower average value than most of Chase’s other transfer partners. Similarly, transferring your points to Marriott Bonvoy is usually not the best use of your points, as you can get far more value out of your Ultimate Rewards points elsewhere.

You’re also probably better off not transferring your Ultimate Rewards points to Aer Lingus AerClub. Like both Iberia Plus and British Airways, which are also Chase transfer partners, the AerClub program uses Avios as its currency. However, if you want to convert your Ultimate Rewards points to Avios, you’re likely better off going with Iberia or British Airways, as these two programs provide higher-value redemptions on average.

Average Transfer Options

As previously mentioned, both Iberia Plus and British Airways use Avios as their rewards currency. You can find solid redemptions through both of these programs. For instance, since both programs are part of the Oneworld alliance, you can use Avios to book first-class tickets with Cathay Pacific, which has one of the finest first-class products of any airline. Booking Cathay Pacific first class with Avios is often far more affordable than booking with cash.

United Airlines MileagePlus is also a program worth considering for U.S.-based travelers, mostly due to United’s large U.S. footprint. Unfortunately, redemptions through United MileagePlus don’t offer good value on average. However, because of the many domestic flights United operates, this is a program you might want to consider transferring your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to. United shines thanks to the Excursionist Perk and the fact that the airline doesn’t pass on surcharges from partners.

If you’re interested in flying the infamous Emirates first or business class, then Emirates Skywards offers solid value for award flights. Unfortunately, if you’re looking for award flights in economy class, then Emirates Skywards typically provides less-than-great value, and your Chase points are likely better used elsewhere. Just be aware of potentially high taxes and fees.

As a whole program, Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer is rather underwhelming. However, the KrisFlyer program has its sweet spots worth paying attention to. In particular, you can often find great deals on award flights from the U.S. to Europe, both on Singapore Airlines metal and with partner airlines.

Good Transfer Options

All in all, the best bet for maximizing the value of your Ultimate Rewards points is to redeem them through World of Hyatt. Hyatt points are widely regarded as the most valuable hotel rewards currency, with award nights starting at just 3,500 points. You can discover outstanding redemptions, such as an executive suite at the Hyatt Regency Sharm El Sheikh Resort in Egypt for only 10,000 points. The World of Hyatt program is filled with such sweet spots, making it one of the top options among Chase’s list of transfer partners.

When it comes to airline partners, Air Canada Aeroplan provides some of the most value out of all of Chase’s transfer partners on average. It’s also the newest addition to Chase’s list of transfer partners.

Air Canada Aeroplan utilizes a fixed award chart for pricing partner awards, which means you can find great deals on numerous partner award flights. Booking short-haul domestic flights on United through Aeroplan is typically a good way to extract significant value from your points. Moreover, Aeroplan recently eliminated fuel surcharges on partner awards, resulting in low taxes and fees.

Air France-KLM Flying Blue offers discounts on certain routes, ranging from 25% to 50%, as monthly promotions, making it easy to find outsized value during these periods. However, outside of these promotions, Flying Blue award flights generally offer average value in economy class and slightly above average value in business class. Flying Blue employs a dynamic pricing model for award flights, which makes identifying sweet spots more challenging.

Virgin Atlantic Flying Club has some solid sweet spots for partner award flights, including Delta Air Lines, All Nippon Airways, Air France, KLM and Air New Zealand. You can also find high-value redemptions in Virgin Atlantic business class. However, booking award flights in Virgin Atlantic economy class usually doesn’t provide the best use of your points.

By focusing on these top options, such as World of Hyatt and Air Canada Aeroplan, you can maximize the value of your Chase Ultimate Rewards points and enjoy rewarding travel experiences.

Transfer Bonuses

To optimize the value of your Chase Ultimate Rewards points, keep an eye out for any transfer bonuses that Chase may offer. These limited-time promotions enhance the value of your Ultimate Rewards when transferring them to specific partner programs.

For example, Chase has provided a 30% bonus for transferring points to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club in the past, resulting in a transfer ratio of 1:1.3. If you transfer 10,000 Ultimate Rewards points to the Flying Club, you’ll receive 13,000 Flying Club miles. This makes it easier to maximize the value of your Ultimate Rewards points.

We advise caution and recommend transferring points to a partner program only if you have a specific redemption in mind. Transferring points to a rewards program that you rarely utilize may not be worthwhile.

The Bottom Line

Chase Ultimate Rewards is one of the most popular rewards programs in the world because of its highly valuable and flexible points and credit card offerings.

If you’re looking for a credit card with an annual fee under $100, it’s hard to beat the $95-annual-fee Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. This card offers some stellar spending bonuses that make it easy to rack up Ultimate Rewards points quickly, an anniversary bonus equal to 10% of your spending from the precious year, access to Chase’s full list of transfer partners, a 25% value bonus when redeeming your points for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and much more.

If you tend to spend a lot of money on travel, then you may want to consider upgrading to the $550-annual-fee Chase Sapphire Reserve card, Chase’s top-tier travel card. This card offers $300 in annual statement credits toward travel purchases (whether they’re made through Chase or not), a $100 reimbursement credit for the application fee for either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, unlimited complimentary access to Chase airport lounges and Priority Pass lounges, a 50% value bonus when redeeming for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and plenty of other valuable perks.

It’s also worth noting that the Chase Sapphire Reserve is the only currently available card that offers access to Priority Pass non-lounge perks. This means that you can receive food and drink credits for yourself and a guest at certain airport restaurants, bars, spas and more, which adds a lot of value.

If you have one of the Chase Sapphire cards, you may still want to look into getting a cashback card from Chase. By coupling a cashback card with either the Sapphire Reserve, the Sapphire Preferred or the Ink Business Preferred card, any points earned with the cashback card can be transferred to one of Chase’s transfer partners or benefit from the value boost that these cards receive through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.

When redeeming your Chase Ultimate Rewards points, in general, the best way to maximize the value of your points is by taking advantage of Chase’s transfer partners. The World of Hyatt program offers some amazingly valuable redemptions, particularly on luxury stays. If you’re looking for award flights, Air Canada Aeroplan’s fixed award chart offers some great sweet spots.